Best bets for the Omega European Masters

August 29, 2023 02:55 PM


Omega European Masters

Englishman and DP World Tour rookie Todd Clements shot a Sunday 63 to win the D+D Real Czech Masters by one stroke over Matt Wallace, who missed his 10-foot birdie putt wide on the 18th. Clements was ranked No. 394 in the OWGR and had not posted a top-20 finish in any event this season but won his first DP World Tour event last weekend as a 400-1 shot.

This week the DP World Tour heads to the Swiss Alps for the Omega European Masters. This is the last week for several players to make a final impression on European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald before he makes his captain's picks early next week.

Matt Fitzpatrick (8-1) is fresh off playing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs on the PGA Tour and returns to Europe to potentially earn an automatic spot on the European team via the World Points List, where he sits less than four points behind fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood. The 2022 U.S. Open champion would likely be a captain's pick anyway but still aspires to qualify for the team on points. Fitzpatrick is also a two-time (2017, 2018) champion of this event in Switzerland.

While Fitzpatrick is a virtual lock for Team Europe, several other players are scrambling for the final spots, including rookie Ludvig Aberg (18-1), who finished T-4 last week in the Czech Masters, Nicolai Hojgaard (18-1), who finished third last week in the Czech Republic, Adrian Meronk (20-1), who won earlier this season at September's Ryder Cup venue Marco Simone, last week's runner-up Wallace (25-1), Alexander Bjork (28-1), and Robert MacIntyre (30-1), who also finished T-4 last week.

Other potential captain's picks contenders include Jordan Smith (30-1), Rasmus Hojgaard (30-1), who was the 2021 champion of this event, Victor Perez (30-1) and Yannik Paul (40-1).

South African Thriston Lawrence (80-1) is the defending champion.

The Event

​The Omega European Masters was founded as the Swiss Open in 1923. European Masters was added as a prefix in 1983 before Swiss Open was dropped from the title in 1992. The event has been a fixture on the European Tour since the tour's inception in 1972 but ended its streak in 2020 when the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. The tournament has an extensive resume of notable winners including major champions such as Seve Ballesteros (1977, 1978, 1989), Bob Charles (1962, 1974), Nick Faldo (1983), Nick Price (1980), Craig Stadler (1985), Jose Maria Olazabal (1986), Ernie Els (2003), Sergio Garcia (2005) and Danny Willett (2015) in addition to many other modern-era top European Tour players including Matt Fitzpatrick, Alex Norén, Thomas Bjørn, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie.

The Course

Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club in Crans Montana, Switzerland (about two hours east of Geneva), has played host to this tournament since 1939. In 1997, the legendary Seve Ballesteros redesigned this track, which was created in 1908 and designed by Harry Nicholson. The course is a par-70 of 6,824 yards and is played at altitude in the Swiss Alps. It is a tree-lined, undulating test with tiny and slower (10-6 on the stimpmeter) Bentgrass/Poa greens that are guarded by bunkers and run-off areas.

Four of the par-4s measure less than 400 yards whereas two stretch over 500 yards, plus there are five par-3s between 175 and 235 yards. However, with the undulation changes and altitude, the holes don’t necessarily play as long as the card would indicate. The front nine contains three of the sub-400-yard par-4s from the stretch from the fifth to the seventh. Back-to-back reachable par-5s at the 14th and 15th also present opportunities.

Recent History/Winners

2022: Thriston Lawrence (-18/262); 30-1*

2021: Rasmus Højgaard (-13/267); 45-1

2020: No Tournament due to COVID-19​

2019: Sebastian Söderberg (-14/266); 275-1**

2018: Matthew Fitzpatrick (-17/263); 12-1***

2017: Matthew Fitzpatrick (-14/266); 30-1****

2016: Alexander Noren (-17/263); 18-1*****

2015: Danny Willett (-17/263); 16-1

2014: David Lipsky (-18/262); 125-1******

2013: Thomas Bjorn (-20/264); 40-1*******

2012: Richie Ramsay (-16/267); 80-1

2011: Thomas Bjorn (20/264); 55-1

2010: M.A. Jimenez (-21/263); 18-1

Playoff win over Matt Wallace - *

Playoff win over Lorenzo Gagli, Rory McIlroy, Andrés Romero, and Kalle Samooja - **

Playoff win over Lucas Bjerregaard - ***

Playoff win over Scott Hend - ****

Playoff win over Scott Hend - *****

Playoff win over Graeme Storm - ******

Playoff win over Craig Lee - *******

Trends and angles

​8 of the last 12 winners here arrived with a top-7 finish in their previous event.

12 of the last 12 winners had at least a top-10 finish in their 10 previous starts.


Alexander Bjork (28-1, BetMGM)

Bjork has seven top-10s on the DP World Tour this season, which is the highest of any player. He also has the tour's lowest scoring average and is second for total strokes gained.

While the Swede is one of the shorter hitters off the tee, he is one of the most accurate (third in Driving Accuracy). He is also second on the DPWT for Strokes Gained: Approach, fourth for Scrambling, seventh for Strokes Gained: Putting and seventh for Greens In Regulation.

Bjork's lack of distance off the tee will not be a hindrance here on a shorter course played at altitude.

Antoine Rozner (35-1, PointsBet)

Rozner has gone fourth (2022) and 13th (2021) here in two appearances.

The Frenchman led the field tee-to-green here last year.

Yannik Paul (40-1, BetMGM)

Paul sits fourth on the European Points List behind Robert MacIntyre. The top three automatically qualify for the Ryder Cup team. (Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are the top two.)

The German is a bigger hitter off the tee than the aforementioned Bjork, but he is just as precise with the irons, ranking fifth for Strokes Gained: Approach and 13th for Greens In Regulation.

He finished top 10 last week in Prague and despite never playing at this event, he has plenty of experience playing at altitude having played for the University of Colorado and living in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Victor Perez (40-1, DraftKings)

Perez started the year hot with a win in Abu Dhabi and also finished top 10 in the Italian Open at Marco Simone, next month's Ryder Cup venue.

Then, his form slipped and he had to withdraw three weeks ago from the event in Northern Ireland because of a bout with COVID.

However, he finished 11th last week in Prague, leading the field for Greens In Regulation.

Alex Fitzpatrick (55-1, DraftKings)

While the elder Fitzpatrick is the rightful favorite this week, little brother Alex has probably been in the better form of late.

He won his maiden professional title four weeks ago on the Challenge Tour, finished runner-up two weeks ago in Northern Ireland and was T-14 last week in Prague, where he was seocnd in the field on Approach.

Ryo Hisatsune (75-1, Caesars Sportsbook)

At just 20 years of age, Hisatsune has the look of potentially being the next big golf star out of Japan.

He has five top-15s in his last nine events, including a 14th in Prague, where he ranked second in the field for Putting.

Edoardo Molinari (80-1, PointsBet)

While the Molinari brothers (Edoardo and Francesco) will not be part of the 12-player roster heading to Rome next month, they will be vice captains for Luke Donald and Team Europe.

Dodo finished 11th last week in Prague and made the switch to the long putter last month (we saw how well that worked for Lucas Glover late in the PGA Tour season).

He ranks top 10 on the DPWT for Approach, Greens In Regulation, and Strokes Gained: Tee To Green.

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